By Cody Roark
Miss Virginia, Camille Schrier, has won the latest Miss America competition. The Virginia biochemist astounded the crowd on Thursday with her unique science experiment for the talent portion of the competition. She was crowned the next Miss America just moments later.
Hailing from Pennsylvania originally, the 24-year-old Virginia Tech alum expressed that she wants to break the stereotypes of what it means to be Miss America in 2020. She strode onstage for her talent performance donning a lab coat and goggles, instead of the typical flashy, sparkly ensemble usually utilized by candidates. Schrier holds dual bachelor of science degrees in bio chemistry and systems biology. She is currently studying to obtain a doctor of pharmacy degree.
Her talent portion of the competition was a demonstration on the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Explaining as she went, Schrier mixed her chemical compounds and launched three streams of colorful foam up into the air. The foam expanded and turned her display table into a rainbow-colored blob as Schrier concluded her presentation. The new Miss America also performs this same demonstration at various schools.
The women candidates of Miss America compete for a $50,000 scholarship and the paid position of Miss America encompassing one year. This position allows them a public platform to launch their social impact initiatives. The contest removed the swimsuit portion of the competition two years ago, striving to focus more on aspects of talent and interviews with candidates. This was done, along with other changes, to modernize the entire event.
Schrier spoke on stage about having dealt with an eating disorder earlier in life and how she didn’t decide to enter Miss America until after they ditched the swimsuit portion. “I kind of figured that I would never get on that stage because I was a woman who did not want to get into a swimsuit on stage. And I didn’t have a performing talent, which is really ironic now,” she said. She is the first ever Miss America to win using a science experiment.
Young women around the country have a strong role model in Camille Schrier. Schrier proves that there is much more to life than having a pretty face or looking good in a swimsuit. A true woman of science who believes in being true to yourself.